The Scottish Government requires the council to prepare a Local Development Plan to detail how the county will meet its statutory requirements for 10,000 new homes by 2024, as well as land for employment and the necessary infrastructure to support it. The Main Issues Report is the first stage in this process. It is a consultation document exploring how future development could be handled in the county. The 12-week consultation period gives everyone the chance to voice their view on potential key changes and the big ideas for future development, including environmental and infrastructure issues.
The Scottish Government has identified East Lothian’s Strategic Development Area as the “transport corridor” that runs east-west from Dunbar to Musselburgh (the A1 and East Coast railway line). Sites already identified in previous council plans can provide up to around 6000 of the 10,000 homes required but additional land for housing and employment must be found with the necessary infrastructure to support it.
The report outlines a preferred strategy for ‘compact’ growth, which would see development concentrated in the west of the county where there are established transport links. However a reasonable alternative of spreading development across the county has been considered with alternative site suggestions. ‘Preferred’ and ‘alternative’ proposals are put forward for each of the county’s main town clusters. The terms ‘preferred’ and ‘alternative’ are required by the government but they offer a useful starting point for discussions during the consultation. No final decisions have been made at this stage and East Lothian Council is keen to hear as many views as possible before the proposed Local Development Plan is prepared.
Events are being held in each of the county’s main towns, starting in Musselburgh on Monday 17 November. The events combine informal drop-in sessions from 2-5.30pm with free workshops in the evenings from 6.30-8.30pm. Registration is required for the evening workshops, which will take a more detailed look at the proposals including sustainability, economic development, transport and housing. The dates and venues are:
17 November: Brunton Hall, Musselburgh
20 November: Prestonpans Community Centre
25 November: Haddington Town House
2 December: Castle Social Club, Dunbar
4 December: North Berwick Community Centre
8 December: Fraser Centre, Tranent
Copies of reports are available to view online, in all East Lothian Council offices and libraries, and will be sent directly to Community Councils. Materials will be held throughout the county in council offices, community centres and other venues. The website address with all materials – including a short video explaining the Main Issues Report is www.eastlothian.gov.uk/mir
The online consultation will close at 23.59 on Sunday 8 February 2015.
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For more information on the Main Issues Report and consultation events please contact Policy & Projects on 01620 827216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org